LEAD Story 397

MALAYSIA - In conjunction with the 170th Anniversary of the arrival of the De La Salle Brothers in Malaya in 1852, the La Salle Brothers Malaysia in collaboration with the Malaysian Federation of Lasallian Alumni Associations (MFOLSA) organised a Thanksgiving Mass at St John’s Cathedral at 10.00am on Saturday, November 12, 2022.

The main celebrant at the Thanksgiving Mass was Archbishop Julian Leow, a Lasallian from St Paul’s Institution, Seremban, with Fr Patrick Massang, another Lasallian from St Michael’s Institution, concelebrating.

In 1852 three members of the La Salle Brothers set foot in Penang and established the first La Salle School in this country, the St Xavier’s Institution. Soon Lasallian schools proliferated throughout the land with no less than 80 primary and secondary schools during the pinnacle years in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. The Brothers earned the respect of all – teachers, students and their parents. Tens of thousands of Malaysian youths received qual i t y wholesome education.

The Lasallian Heritage, with its characteristic ethos, has a very special meaning for all whose hearts were touched by the La Salle Brothers. For the love of the La Salle Brothers and the need to preserve quality, well-rounded education for posterity, the Lasallian alumni have rallied to take up the challenge to continue the “Journey”.

Archbishop Julian in his sermon said, “170 years of an Institution is not a short time. We are here to celebrate the Anniversary of the presence of the La Salle Brothers here in Malaysia. However, the journey has not been easy. Beginning 170 years ago, coming to the shores of Malaysia, I am sure the Brothers at that time had a very challenging journey. The challenge continues up to today as we just have to look around us too, the number of La Salle Brothers in Malaysia are few. It is a matter of time before we have no more Brothers in Malaysia if nothing is done!”

He posed questions to the congregation, “Have our La Salle schools become irrelevant? Have our Mission Schools lost their ethos, heritage? What are we to do today?”

“Your theme says it all, ‘Building New Paths, Transforming Lives’. The Magi, the wise men of the East returned by a different way. We have to find new pathways to be relevant again.”

Archbishop Julian in his message in the souvenir program for the 170 years celebration penned, “The La Salle schools have played a significant and crucial role in Educating our Nation wholistically. Catholics and those of other faiths were drawn to the teaching profession because of these La Salle Brothers. Their dedication and continuous support for the education and future of the students have produced all round citizens from academics and teachers right up to businessmen and entrepreneurs. Their focus was not only in academic results but also in other activities which would build their character. They are the natural melting pots of races, faiths and cultures that must be strengthened and enhanced. Lasallians are very faith oriented and believe in a meaningful life “Indivisa Manent” (Permanently Indivisible) a tag line which holds dear to their faith and way of living.”

This is indeed the moment for Celebrating Our Heritage as a part of the Lasallian Family in Malaysia. It is this recollection of our Faith Journey, moved by the original inspirations of John Baptist de La Salle in the 17th century, 300 years ago still echoes deep in our hearts for Building New Paths in the 21st century. The purpose of our endeavours over the years, firmly rooted in our Spirit of Faith, has been our commitment in Hope to Transforming Lives and especially today, with the urgent need for a new creativity and vitality. This is the meaning and process for our common understanding of a renewed Educational Service in the context of Malaysia.

In the evening a Gala Dinner was held at Royale Chulan Hotel at 7.00 pm. The Guest of Honour was HRH Sultan Nazrin, the Sultan of Perak Darul Ridzuan. (Text: Mr. James Sia; Photos: Mr. James Sia & Br. Mikey Cua FSC)

MALAYSIA - On the 12th November 2022, Lasallians gathered at Royale Chulan Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to celebrate the 170th year of Lasallian presence in the country. This milestone is attributed to the first De La Salle Brothers, who worked hard to provide a Christian and Human Lasallian education which started in Penang and spread out to different places in Malaysia. This event is also a good reminder of how the ever-dedicated Lasallian partners like the old boys, teachers, staff, and students continue the Lasallian legacy.

The special event started with simple pre-prandial and viewing of the visually appealing and informative exhibit that tells the rich heritage of Lasallian presence in Malaysia. It was followed by the Gala Dinner attended by prominent individuals who are part of Malaysia's fruitful and vibrant Lasallian journey.

The event catered to almost 500 guests, including the De La Salle Brothers from Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore, the Brother Visitor of Lasallian East Asia District (LEAD), Br. Patrick Tierney FSC, Mr. Michael Simon, the President of Malaysian Federation of Lasallian Alumni Associations (MFOLSA), Peter Van Acker, the Belgium Ambassador, Ms. Virginie Bioteau, the Charge D’Affaires of the Embassy of France, and the very special guest, HRH Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, the Sultan of Perak, who is a former student of St. John’s Institution.

A video greeting from the Brother Superior General, Br. Armin Luistro FSC, was also shown to the guests. He mentioned that this milestone's blessings are attributed to the ever-supportive Lasallian Families, as they continue to be the bearers of the light to the Lasallian students by providing world-class education in Malaysia. The Brother Superior General also wished that this mission of being the light bearers still continues especially when the people are in the darkest hour of their lives.

The LEAD Brother Visitor, Br. Patrick Tierney FSC, also shared some messages of thanksgiving and hope. He hopes and prays that the Lasallian spirit planted in each heart 170 years ago will never die. He reminded all the present Lasallians at the event that they are the heirs and the bearers of this Lasallian spirit, and this spirit may continue to inspire and produce more Lasallian gentlemen and women of tomorrow.

The guests were entertained and serenaded by various artists like the Black Stallion, a popular comedian and entertainer in Malaysia.

The last part of the program was calling all Brothers on stage, having the ceremonial cake-cutting, and the recognizing the Old Boy Associations who selflessly contribute to the continuing legacy of the De La Salle Brothers in Malaysia. (Text: Br. Eugene de Luna FSC; Photos: Mr. James Sia & Br. Mikey Cua FSC)



Click the 170th Anniversary logo to view the exhibit panels on the LEAD Website. Credit goes to Mr. James Sia who worked tirelessly to produce these wonderful panels.

MYANMAR - The Myanmar Sector Assembly came about when Br. Felipe Belleza FSC, Auxiliary Visitor, in his letter, expressed his fraternal care and concern as we continue to live out our vowed life and ministry in the midst of many challenges and difficulties. He further encouraged the Myanmar Brothers to start a series of dialogue and conversation with respective communities on matters that are important and relevant to the Myanmar Sector in relation to the LEAD District. Specifically, we were asked to reflect on the current situations and how the Myanmar Brothers intend to move forward in our collective mission despite the uncertainties in line with the LEAD District Assembly in December 2022 and LEAD 4th District Chapter in April-May 2023.

And thus, the Myanmar Sector Assembly was held on the 5th of November 2022 with the graceful attendance of Br. Patrick Tierney, Visitor and Br. Felipe Belleza, Auxiliary Visitor. Br. Lucas Thein, CDA Chair, facilitated the Assembly attended by all the Myanmar Brothers in the country and abroad.

The main aim of the assembly is for the Myanmar Brothers to meet, discuss concerns of the Sector and set directions for the life and mission in Myanmar in relation to the District Assembly and 4th District Chapter 2023. Br. Visitor, in his opening remarks, encouraged the Brothers to continue to hope for the wonders of God amidst the current challenges in the country. Br. Auxiliary Visitor also told the Assembly to draw encouragement and inspirations from the current situation and serve in the possible ministries despite the many limitations with a deep sense of faith.

After fraternal dialogues and discussions, two obvious pressing concerns emerged, Vocation Promotion/ Initial Formation programs and financial transparency in the Sector and in the respective communities. The Myanmar Brothers are fully aware of the importance of getting candidates in the initial formation program and agreed that there is a great need to update and upgrade the current local practices of vocation promotion and initial formation programs. A team of 4 Brothers was identified and formed, tasked with reviewing the current practices and policies, and drawing up programs that are more suitable for the realities of the country. As for finances, participants focused on better accountability and efficient use of the approved budget by the Sector Bursar and community bursars and in fulfilling the Resolution 09-2019 of the 3rd District Chapter - “Keep the Brothers regularly informed of the sources and uses of funds on different levels: community, institution, sector, District”. The Assembly agreed to form a finance committee to ascertain the precise and clear roles and functions of the respective bursars. (Text & Screenshot: Br. Lucas Thein FSC)

PHILIPPINES - The Young Brothers in the Philippines gathered over the past two days to pray about our experiences, share about our vocation journey, and celebrate community life.

We find importance in coming together despite the continuous demands of the ministry. Through these gatherings as a community of young Brothers, we are reminded of St. La Salle’s meditation regarding communities of Brothers: “Union in a community is a precious gem, which is why our Lord so often recommended it to his Apostles before he died. If we lose this, we lose everything. Preserve it with care, therefore, if you want your community to survive.”

We fervently ask you to accompany us with your prayers as we deepen our commitment to the Lasallian mission through our commitment to the Brothers’ vocation.

We thank our Brothers in Manila for their generosity in sharing their Community with us throughout our gathering. (De La Salle Brothers of the Philippines Official Facebook Page)

THAILAND - After two years of hybrid and online classes in which students were not allowed to gather and enjoy school events, La Salle Chotiravi Nakhon Sawan recently launched the Lasallian Games 2022. In its 47th year, the school properly prepared this event to boost the spirit of the Lasallian community in Nakhon Sawan, particularly the students. The event began with opening remarks from Br. Joe Klong FSC, Sector Head of De La Salle Thailand. Following the motivational speech, the students displayed their talents and colorful attire. The students were divided into teams of different colors, such as pink, green, blue, and orange. The event also included the Brothers, teachers, staff, alumni, and parents who enjoyed watching the students' performances.

The event lasted three days, from November 9 to 11, and all Covid-19 protocols were followed. (Text: Br. Eugene de Luna FSC; Photos: Br. Luke Thatsaworn Nonthiboot FSC)

HONG KONG - Volunteers from the Lasallian Youth Movement, joined by Br Jude and Mr Peter Leung, contributed to the Food Angel community service in the morning of their holiday on 4 November 2022.

The volunteers prepared food and almost 2,000 lunch boxes for the underprivileged communities in Hong Kong. They have put the Lasallian Spirit of Faith, Service and Community into action. (La Salle College Official Facebook Page)

#faith #service #community #fsc #younglasallians #1lasalle #lsc